Wed | Feb 20, 2019

May faces no-confidence vote after Brexit plan crushed in historic Commons defeat

Published:Wednesday | January 16, 2019 | 12:00 AM
British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks in the House of Commons in London after losing a vote on her Brexit plan yesterday.

LONDON (AP):

British lawmakers over-whelmingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's divorce deal with the European Union (EU) yesterday, plunging the Brexit process into chaos and triggering a no-confidence vote that could topple her government.

The defeat was widely expected, but the scale of the House of Commons' vote - 432 votes against the government and 202 in support - was devastating for May's fragile leadership.

It followed more than two years of political upheaval in which May has staked her political reputation on getting a Brexit deal and was the biggest defeat for a government in the House of Commons in modern history.

Moments after the result was announced - with Speaker John Bercow bellowing "the noes have it" to a packed Commons chamber - May said it was only right to test whether the government still had lawmakers' support to carry on. Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn quickly obliged, saying May's government had lost the confidence of Parliament.

Lawmakers will vote today on his motion of no-confidence. If the government loses, it will have 14 days to overturn the result or face a national election.

Although May lacks an overall majority in Parliament, she looks likely to survive the vote unless lawmakers from her Conservative party rebel. Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which props up May's government, said it would support her.

"The House has spoken and the government will listen," May said after the vote, which leaves her Brexit plan on life support just 10 weeks before the country is due to leave the EU on March 29.

May promised to consult lawmakers on future moves, but gave little indication of what she plans to do next. Parliament has given the government until Monday to come up with a new proposal.

READ UK Parliament Rejects May's Brexit Deal. What's Next? and Explaining The 'Backstop,' A Sticking Point In Brexit Debate